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Patience is a Virtue


limpid
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PB's thoughts this week remain firmly fixed on the transfer window as fans debate the virtues of panic buys to solve our current "crisis".

Lets face facts. The team is currently struggling pretty badly, and we don’t appear, on the face of the first 45 minutes at Old Trafford to be about to turn any corners. It is difficult perhaps at this exact moment in time to appreciate just how much the club has changed over a few short months. Fans, quite correctly perhaps, react to what they see on the football pitch, or the telly, and the reaction they have is that, really, things haven’t changed all that much.

I can understand this reaction, I really can. I am as frustrated as the next man by the recent run of results, and appreciate as well as any the need for fresh blood in the first team to improve what is really a poor squad in terms of quality. Relegation is, perhaps, a distant threat, but still, a threat it is. We still need probably 15 or more points, and at the moment it is hard to see where they are coming from. I am struggling to see though how our current position can possibly justify us throwing £10m at Watford for a young boy who may, or may not, make the grade, or throwing £12m at Liverpool for a player like Craig Bellamy in a transfer window which must surely be the noisiest one ever in terms of speculation but the quietest one ever in terms of actual moves – and not only for us, for everyone.

I also see fans reacting to, in my opinion, ill-advised comments from the General and the manager concerning the European Cup and their aspirations in that area, and similarly ill-advised comments from Martin O’Neill about World class players coming to the Villa. These fans reactions is naturally enough one of great excitement, excitement which may well one day be justified.

I remember that during the takeover I said some stuff that I still very much believe, indeed, events since the takeover have, if anything deepened my belief.

First

The club on Ellis' departure was in a total mess, a train wreck of a football club, in my opinion 9 months away from the Championship. Others I know view this differently, and that’s their perogative, but I'm on record as saying it was so back in the summer, and this season to date has done nothing to change my mind. I was on record then as saying that I believed it would take years to even recover our position of ten years ago, and I stand by that now. Even with, in my opinion the excellent management we have at every level, the mess the club was in was so deep as to make any rapid transformation practically impossible. You are going to have to wait in my opinion, whether you like it or not.

Second

I am on record as saying during the takeover, and since then, that even if Randy Lerner didn’t put up a single penny of his own money to fund player transfers I would back him if I saw that the steps he was taking as Chairman were positive, forward thinking and would be for the long term benefit of the club, as essentially, that’s what this club REALLY needs, far more than his millions, if we are to have success for many years to come. To date, I have been absolutely bowled over by the way he has run the club - I really genuinely couldn’t ask for more. After 20 years of Ellis’ misrule its still, to me, like one long party. If Randy chucks some millions our way (and I believe that the mess is such that he might just have to sooner or later) then all the better, but for me, I think we have the best club owner you could possibly wish for.

As for O’Neill, well, he isn’t perfect. He makes mistakes, he gets things wrong, perhaps increasingly so as the pressure bites. Again, I am on record as saying that I believe that he is absolutely, certainly the best manager we could possibly have for this phase of our development. He is, in some ways, a modern version of GT MKI, a guy who will leave his footprint on this club, a footprint that will last us in good stead for many, many years to come. it is my belief that when he eventually leaves this club he will do so to a standing ovation and the eternal gratitude of our supporters.

Its hard, I know, to look at things this way now, on the back of a dismal run of results, but its what I believe. Just thought I would share it, as it seemed kind of apt

PB

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Yes, more professional management now in place and very much overdue. Yes, a first class team manager and support staff. Yes, attention to the infrastructure (Holte Inn, transport logistics, refreshments). Yes, more effort to communicate effectively with the fans. No doubt about it, an excellent start. None of us could have excpecteed this nine months ago. However, at the end of the day the key issue is whether Lerner is prepared to bank-roll his Club with sufficient finance over the next 5 years to bring player-spend in line with the other Top4 Clubs. ie increasing player spend by £20mill every year (minimum). The Club was losing £1mill every month when he took over and this has undoubtedly risen, possibly to almost £2mill every month.

Is Lerner prepared to allow this to increase £4mill plus, every month, which would be eqivalent to a £50mill loss every year, for at least the next two years? That is the ultimate criteria. If not, we will always be the "nearly Club", top-half Prem. at best. That might be the point that Lerner plans to exit, allowing other investors to finish the job.

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i also want instant results, sexy football and world class stars at the club i love...

nothing would make me happier...

but the reality is, we have a huge mess to sort out and this isnt being helped by clubs demaning 10 million for players who, while i rate them, arent much better than some of the youngsters we already have...

personally, im glad that the club is showing the balls to tell these clubs that they cant dick us around, as if we give in now, and pay the ridiculous fees, we will be doing that for years to come because clubs know we will give in if they demand stupid prices...

by calling their bluff now, when lets face it, we arent getting into europe, we arent getting relegated, but we still need players, is sending out a very strong message to other clubs that we mean business and wont be dicked around...

me, even with the recent poor run, im still as happy as a pig in shit...

we have a great owner, a great manager, money behind us and for the first time in over 25 years, we have a plan and a direction...

that to me, over rides my impatience and frustration......

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Well for me it's very confusing.

You see for 24 years the arguments went that Ellis was destroying the club, turning it into a right dogs dick of a club totally unprepared for modern day football and run like a train crash. Thoughts I happen to sympathise with. However, if you accept that premise then surely you cant expect people to turn around that mess created over 24 years in 24 weeks? I mean if thats the case then Ellis didn't run the club that badly. If people can turn it around in such a short timespan than are we now saying that the club wasn't in a total mess?

Which is it? It cant be both. This is the confusion for me.

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Top post, agree totally. As for confusion, the hype surrounding MON and Lerners arrival swept many along on a wave of euphoria and relief, me included and gave us a false sense of where Villa truly stood. I doubt MON or Lerner were fooled at all and I trust they will restore the club to where it ought to be. It will take time however and I think the majority of fans understand that.

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by calling their bluff now, when lets face it, we arent getting into europe, we arent getting relegated, but we still need players, is sending out a very strong message to other clubs that we mean business and wont be dicked around...

Thing is, relegation isn't as far away as you think, if we don't beat Watford this weekend, can you see us winning any of the next four games, Barcodes (A), Reading (A), West Spam (H) and Arse (H)...

We need new players now to bolster the side, if the worst comes and Watford role us this weekend, we're in the shit, no questions, and I'd bank the house on that if that happens, we'll be no higher then 17th come the start of March, no if's buts or maybes, we need to start getting points now, or it won't be 'relegation could happen' it'll be 'shit, who has tickets to Southend next week?'

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Well for me it's very confusing.

You see for 24 years the arguments went that Ellis was destroying the club, turning it into a right dogs dick of a club totally unprepared for modern day football and run like a train crash. Thoughts I happen to sympathise with. However, if you accept that premise then surely you cant expect people to turn around that mess created over 24 years in 24 weeks? I mean if thats the case then Ellis didn't run the club that badly. If people can turn it around in such a short timespan than are we now saying that the club wasn't in a total mess?

Which is it? It cant be both. This is the confusion for me.

I know you're not really confused because it is only confusing if you give any credence to the people who DO expect it all to have been turned around by now. No-one whose posts I bother reading have ever expected this 'train crash' to be running smoothly by now and I expect you only give the time of day to similar people that I do.

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Great Post and i thoroughly agree with your comments about people being impatient. I put an article on here in October 2005 about the state of the team,the squad,the manager, the then Chairman etc etc and was told not to be negative and to get behind the team. One cheeky bastard even suggested that I wasn't a Villa fan for having the temerity to write such an article, as I have been a supporter since 1959 you can imagine that wrankled me a great deal.

History proved me right, the team arent or never were good enough. We are now however in a completely different ball game, yes the team are still poor but there are a lot of kids in there that have to be given time and with the right experienced players alongside them I am sure we can again achieve our aims. I was particularly impatient with DOL however MON is a completely different kettle of fish and has to be given time and the opportunity to mould his own team, from previous experience he does this very well,he will not pay 'over the odds' for players but will eventually get it right.

Please be patient.

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Nicely said, PB.

However, I would not call The General's comments about European cups and the like "ill-advised". The last thing I wanted from a takeover was someone with the same "ambition" as Ellis: Survival and scrape Europe every now and again.

I want to see them aiming high. And I want to see that immediately - not in 5 years time.

Granted, it may not happen for years - but the ambition must be there from the beginning, or it will never happen.

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Nicely said, PB.

However, I would not call The General's comments about European cups and the like "ill-advised". The last thing I wanted from a takeover was someone with the same "ambition" as Ellis: Survival and scrape Europe every now and again.

.

Well, I think it is dangerous to talk about aspirational targets without adding in all the various caveats - "one day", "we hope", "it is our eventual aim" etc etc. The reason it is dangerous is because people, if you say for example, "we are aiming to win the European Cup",expect and interpret that as meaning that this is something we are working on now, that it is planned, and budgeted - they then get frustrated and upset, perhaps understandably so, when the next signing is a kid from man Utd's reserves on loan.

Whereas in reality I think if you asked the general or MON what stage our plans were at for "bringing in World Class players" and "Challenging for the European Cup" I think they would tell you that we are long way from looking at that seriously, probably at least 3-4 years. I know I will get called complacent etc etc, but there are things that have to be done first, we a re in my opinion a couple of full and expensive team rebuilds away from even qualifying for the competition, let alone winning the thing.

So this is why i say ill-advised. Sure, you and I understand the difference between aspiration and expectation, I'm not sure that many people do though..

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